The Latest - Afghanistan

Afghanistan Latest

29th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Losing a War

Thomas Joscelyn

Trump’s disdain for the war in Afghanistan had long been well known, so no one in the White House knew what he would decide to do about it in the summer of 2017. Multiple options were on the table in Trump’s freewheeling administration. The president had heard plans ranging from privatizing the war under the authority of military contractors, to a narrowly defined, CIA-led counterterrorism mission, to a more robust deployment of American forces, to a complete withdrawal. more...

24th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Al Qaeda leader argues Taliban’s ‘blessed emirate’ a core part of new caliphate

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri calls on Muslims to unite against an alleged “international infidel alliance” in a newly released video. The 5-minute production, which was posted online yesterday (Aug. 23), is titled “The Battle of Awareness and Will – The Solid Structure.” more...

23rd August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban video shows fighters on captured Afghan base in Baghlan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban released video of the aftermath of its fighters overrunning the Allahuddin military base in Baghlan-e Markazi district, Baghlan province. The Taliban seized control of the base on Aug. 14, even as its forces were engaged in a battle over the provincial capital of Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan and was fighting on many other fronts. more...

20th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Wanted AQAP bomb maker rumored killed in US drone strike

Bill Roggio

Ibrahim al Asiri, al Qaeda’s top bomb maker and a senior leader in its branch in Yemen, is rumored to have been killed in a US drone strike sometime in the past year. The death of Asiri, one of the most dangerous and wanted men in the world, has yet to be confirmed. more...

18th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban fighters loot district center in Ghazni

Bill Roggio

With all eyes focused on their coordinated assault on Ghazni City on Aug. 10, the Taliban never took their foot off the gas in launching attacks on several districts across Ghazni province. Five districts fell to the Taliban between Aug. 11-14. more...

7th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Afghan forces target al Qaeda commanders in Helmand and Nangarhar

Bill Roggio

The raids in Helmand and Nangarhar indicate that al Qaeda's leaders are not focused on its survival. Al Mesri was focused on manufacturing IEDs to support the Taliban's insurgency in Helmand, while Rahmatullah and his cohorts were operating in Nangarhar's provincial capital. more...

5th August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban suicide bomber kills 3 Czech soldiers

Bill Roggio

The Taliban remains active in Parwan, where it contested five of the provinces 10 districts. One American and two Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the suicide attack. more...

1st August 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban says Islamic State has been ‘completely defeated’ in Jawzjan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban claimed it has “completely defeated” the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province in the northern Afghan province of Jawzjan after a coordinated operation that was launched from three different locations. more...

31st July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Resolute Support invents new terms to obfuscate Taliban control

Bill Roggio, Alexandra N. Gutowski

Resolute Support, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, meanwhile continues to soft-pedal the security situation and invent new classifications for the status of districts. more...

29th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Raid on Afghan school for midwives ended after several hours

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack earlier today. Amaq’s account says the terrorists were inghimasis, or well-trained guerrilla fighters who immerse themselves in battle before blowing themselves up, and that their target was the “headquarters of the United States Agency for International Development” (USAID) in the city of Jalalabad. more...

26th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban suicide bomber attacks Afghan intel officers in Kabul

Bill Roggio

A Taliban suicide bomber killed four members of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in an attack on a convoy in the capital of Kabul earlier today. The NDS unit hit is reportedly responsible for targeting Taliban units that operate in the contested provinces of Logar and Wardak, just south of Kabul. more...

24th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Afghan military suffers significant casualties since end of government’s ceasefire

Bill Roggio

While Resolute Support touted the body count of insurgents during the three-week period following the Afghan government’s unilateral ceasefire as a measure of success, the Taliban has also inflicted casualties on Afghan forces during this timeframe. An estimated 150 Afghan security personnel (soldiers, policemen, and militia fighters) have been killed in major Taliban attacks since July 12. more...

24th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban overruns 2 districts in eastern Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban overran the district centers of Omna and Gayan in the eastern province of Paktika today after several days of heavy fighting. The Taliban takeover of the two districts occurred as US generals attempted to put a positive spin on the Afghan military’s capabilities. more...

23rd July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

NATO command touts body count of ‘Taliban irreconcilables’

Bill Roggio

The press release also described the Taliban who are being targeted and killed as "Taliban irreconcilables." However, Resolute Support has yet to identify any reconcilable Taliban. more...

22nd July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Islamic State claims suicide bombing near ceremony for Afghanistan’s returning vice president

Thomas Joscelyn

A suicide bomber struck just outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul earlier today. The jihadist detonated his explosive only minutes after Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s first vice president, passed through the area. Dostum is a controversial figure who has been accused of various crimes throughout his career. more...

17th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Afghan commandos free 58 from Taliban prison

Bill Roggio

Afghan commandos raided a Taliban jail in the highly contested province of Helmand and freed 58 prisoners, according to the Afghan military. The Taliban has been operating prisons in Helmand for at least three years. more...

16th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

UN: Taliban remains prime culprit in Afghan civilian casualties

Thomas Joscelyn

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its latest report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan yesterday. Once again, UNAMA has identified the Taliban as the prime culprit when it comes to civilian deaths and injuries. more...

10th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban again equates their Islamic Emirate with the Afghan nation

Bill Roggio

The Taliban reiterated yesterday that it views itself as the sole representative of the Afghan people, while those who fight for the Afghan government are “puppets” of the United States. The Taliban made these points and more in a statement that addressed the International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in the Republic of Afghanistan, which is being held in Saudi Arabia today and tomorrow. The statement was released on July 9 in English on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website. more...

9th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Taliban brands upcoming religious scholar conference as ‘an absolute anti-Islamic US process’

Bill Roggio

The Taliban railed against an upcoming conference of religious scholars that will be held in Saudi Arabia later this week as “illegitimate” and urged Islamic clerics to boycott the meeting. The International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in the Republic of Afghanistan will be held in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina on July 10-11. more...

5th July 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Pentagon continues to underestimate al Qaeda, downplay ties to Taliban

Bill Roggio

The US Department of Defense continues to ignore fundamental facts in spinning its latest narrative. Yet again, the Pentagon underestimates al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan while downplaying the group’s ties to the Taliban. more...


Clifford D. May

Founder and President

Bill Roggio

Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD's Long War Journal

Thomas Joscelyn

Senior Fellow

Michael G. Waltz

Nonresident Senior Fellow


5th February 2014 - 12:00 PM

Understanding al Qaeda and its Affiliates: A Global Threat or JV Squad?

A Conversation with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Bruce Hoffman, Thomas Joscelyn and Jonathan Schanzer

Speaking about organizations claiming allegiance to al Qaeda, President Barack Obama stated that "if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." The president’s remarks have sparked yet another debate about whether al Qaeda is weakened, whether it is resurgent, or whether it was ever weakened in the first place.  Has the Arab Spring spawned a surge in jihadism? Are these organizations taking advantage of the new environment in the region, or is the expansion of jihadist groups largely independent of the revolutions? How well is Washington’s current approach to al Qaeda working? If the group is growing despite U.S. efforts, how do we put our policies on the right track?

20th August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: On Life Support or an Imminent Threat?

A Conversation with Eli Lake, Thomas Joscelyn and Cliff May

Twelve years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and more than two years after Osama bin Laden was killed, how great of a threat is al Qaeda to the U.S. homeland and America’s interests abroad? Has the instability in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and throughout Africa allowed al Qaeda to grow in size and power? How should the latest threats against America’s diplomatic facilities, paired with the recent prison breaks in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere impact U.S. counterterrorism strategy?